by Nathan Dunn

CHIHUAHUA, MX — The Kansas City Comets suffered another heartbreaking loss to the Chihuahua Savage, losing Game 2 of the Ron Newman Cup Finals 5-4 on Tuesday night in Corner Sport Arena.
In similar fashion to how Game 1 played out, the Comets led for much of the way but could not find enough second-half offense to push them over the finish line. The Comets conquered the East, but ran into a Savage team that was not going to be denied of celebrating a championship on home turf.
The Comets opened the scoring when Ray Lee teed off on a restart, firing a left-footed strike into the top shelf assisted by Nacho Flores. Leo Acosta made it 2-0 to the visitors when the rookie midfielder danced through the defense, but the lead was cut in half when Miguel Angel Diaz put the Chihuahua on the board. Rian Marques restored the Comets’ two-goal cushion with a skillful move before poking it home through some traffic.
After a four-goal first quarter, Chihuahua’s Kristian Quintana scored the lone goal of the second quarter. Hugo Puentes found Quintana from a restart as he blasted it in with his right foot to get the Savage back within one before halftime.
The Comets again answered back when a long toss downfield from Nicolau Neto was perfectly set up by Rian Marques, who allowed for an onrushing Ramone Palmer to smash it into the roof of the net from short range to make it 4-2 Comets. Chihuahua stormed back, this time scoring twice before the end of the frame with scores from Adriano Nunes and Bryan Macias.
The goal rush dissipated for a while as the action got more and more tense going into the final five minutes of regulation. With 1:35 left on the clock, Chihuahua’s Hugo Puentes received the ball before taking time to set himself and fire in the go-ahead goal.
As the Comets pushed for the late equalizer, their chances seemed to be dashed when Chihuahua scored twice but both goals were disallowed for a foul and a handball. The Comets had some chances, but heroic goalkeeping from Diego Reynoso sealed the Chihuahua of their second consecutive Ron Newman Cup.
The Comets gave a valiant effort, but just weren’t able to deliver a Game 2 victory in a difficult environment against an experienced Savage team.
The 2023-24 season gave the Comets some great memories and plenty to build on moving forward. The 2024 Eastern Conference champions now have unfinished business and will look to add a Ron Newman Cup to the trophy case next season.
1st – KC Lee (Flores) 9:29; KC Acosta 10:15; CUU Diaz (Hernandez) 12:50; KC Marques 13:07. Penalties – None.
2nd – CUU Quintana (Puentes) 14:12. Penalties – None.
3rd – KC RaPalmer (Marques) 0:50; CUU Nunes 2:01; CUU Macias 8:55. Penalties — KC Ramirez (bc- holding) 6:48. CUU Escalante (bc-four fouls in a half) 14:09.
4th – CUU Puentes 13:40. Penalties – KC Marques (bc- kicking) 14:48.
Power Play – Comets 0/1, Chihuahua 1/2
Penalty Minutes – Comets 4, Chihuahua 2
Fouls – Comets 39, Chihuahua 27
Shots – Comets 23, Chihuahua 43
Blocks - Comets 20, Chihuahua 14